Despite the hiring freeze in place since last November, the state continues to hire both classified and exempt employees, as I noted in a story this morning.
The number of hires -- 41 exempts and 317 classified positions -- are only through some time in June, however, so the actual figure is probably higher. One exempt hire I confirmed since the story ran is of Paul Ritzma as a deputy chief of staff for the governor. He replaces Bruce Perlman.
Ritzma, who prior to this was the general counsel at the Human Services Department, irked some lawmakers and open government advocates during this year's session when he floated changes to a bill relating to the state's Inspection of Public Records Act. In short, the changes (read the second half of this story) would have dramatically increased the number of exemptions to state public records law.
I've used that same law just now in requesting an updated list of new hires and will let you know what I find out.